Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point vs. Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Score 9.6 out of 10
N/A
Cisco offers the Meraki (MR) line of wireless access points supporting basic LAN with inbuilt antivirus (NAC), cloud management with network-wide access control, and location analytics, as well as support for indoor and outdoor spaces of various sizes across different product models.N/A
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Score 8.8 out of 10
N/A
Cisco offers wireless LAN.N/A
Pricing
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access PointCisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access PointCisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access PointCisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Considered Both Products
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Chose Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
I've found that Meraki Wireless Access Points are able to stack up against all of the other access point manufacturers I've used. I think they are more usable and easy to understand when compared to others like Fortinet, Aruba, or traditional Cisco wireless. I do think the …
Chose Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Cisco Meraki provides a management portal which makes the provisioning and configuration process much easier than with other vendors. It also provides out of the box security and visibility features without needed to purchase additional products or add on licenses. The …
Chose Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Cisco Meraki Access Points are almost plug and play whereas Cisco LAN controllers require lots of configuration beforehand. The GUI for Cisco Meraki Access points is a lot easier to use and contains almost all the functionality of traditional Wireless LAN controllers. Easy to …
Chose Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
As an overall preference, Cisco Meraki Wireless was selected because of their customer service and attention to detail to the account. They have carved out a nitch in the market and are growing their own way and style under Cisco but feels so different than Cisco. Comparing …
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco provides better security and ease of use with multiple solutions compared to other vendors. Cisco also has additional features which can support small businesses. It also offers cloud-based solutions at a cheaper rate compared to other solutions available. Another …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access PointCisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Small Businesses
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.3 out of 10
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.3 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
Enterprises
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access PointCisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Likelihood to Recommend
9.2
(34 ratings)
9.5
(66 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.1
(1 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Usability
8.2
(1 ratings)
6.4
(2 ratings)
Availability
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
9.4
(11 ratings)
8.2
(4 ratings)
Implementation Rating
7.3
(1 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Configurability
-
(0 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Ease of integration
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
7.8
(2 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access PointCisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Likelihood to Recommend
Cisco
I think the best solutions for Meraki APs are kind of that remote office branch office type of situation where you need to provide coverage for say a restaurant or a retail location, but you have less skilled IT employees there. So you can remotely configure those devices to ensure that you're running at peak performance. I think the places where that may not be the greatest fit is in a traditional large enterprise. And that's mostly because the IT departments there are a little bit more seasoned and full-featured. And the advantages of Meraki really can't be recognized there as much as they might be.
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Cisco
In a corporate environment that requires strong security and the ability to block / allow a large variety of users, the Cisco Wireless platform excels. The system is extremely robust and can provide literally a blanket of coverage, with very good performance. They also offer external/out doors access points which provide excellent performance. Because the system is well built and designed, you often go through the lifetime of the product (you really need to apply updates) with very little issues. However, when you reach the end of the support life on the box, it is not cheap at all to upgrade/replace. You really need to keep an eye on the current life cycle and plan accordingly for a replacement date and fund.
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Pros
Cisco
  • Cisco Meraki Wireless does a GREAT job marketing their product and building your trust. They offer free and very informative webinars that offer free gear for your home network. They rely on word of mouth marketing and it simply works. They offer great try and buy programs as well. They stand behind their product and trust the technology.
  • Cisco Meraki Wireless administrators dashboard is top notch. Their wireless UI interface is integrated with all other Cisco Meraki Wireless products. This makes it easy to use. It has single-use credentials and is seamless.
  • Cisco Meraki Wireless support is also top notch. While they are backed by Cisco, Meraki always feels like you are working with a small business that takes your account seriously. They are specialized and a rare breed in the industry. Getting support from them is a pleasure!
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Cisco
  • It's Cisco and like all our other Cisco products, chiefly switches, once you get it set up to your liking, it just runs itself after that. The reliability factor has been huge for us.
  • Ease in deploying new APs has been nice. We have a DNS record (and DHCP Option 43 as a fallback) that helps new AP find the WLC. The WLC takes it from there.
  • Good monitoring of connections, kicking people off, [and] blocking certain MACs are all useful features.
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Cons
Cisco
  • Depending on your business size and budget, the cloud based subscription model may not acceptable to upper management.
  • Must maintain subscription to utilize Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Points.
  • Additional functionality and support for Mobile Device Management (MDM) comes with an additional cost if you want telephone support, otherwise it is limited to a certain number of devices and tech support via email only.
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Cisco
  • Configuring wireless settings is very confusing because various settings are scattered all over the interface in different tabs
  • Lots of settings use Cisco's technical verbiage rather than common phrasing, so it's confusing what a lot of settings will do and requires researching the meaning before modifying the setting
  • The interface could be easier to use to do simple tasks such as reboot an access point
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
The Cisco Meraki WiFi Access Point dashboard and support license is mandatory so to continue usage we will need to renew the license. We may opt to purchase a more current WiFi generation device if something newer is available at that time. Currently, happy with the use of the dashboard as it is very feature rich.
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Cisco
Although it is a very good product, support is easy and can manage by Level 1 support persons and downtime is too much less but still there is a cost factor matters which is consider by each organization. Furthermore, organizations also compare with other competitors so it is hard to pursue and defend the high prices.
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Usability
Cisco
The Meraki dashboard is an excellent tool to administer and manage the Meraki WiFi Access Point. Navigating the dashboard is intuitive and there are lots of use cases on the Meraki site. The dashboard is the key to having a great administrative experience with the product, easy to use, fast to find information.
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Cisco
As I said before, the only thing we miss in our old model is the fact that the management interface never received an improvement in design. It has the same look and feels since it was launched. It's not that it's hard to use. It's just the case of could be modernized.
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Reliability and Availability
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Cisco
Downtime fear is the first fear which IT persons look and want to eliminate as much as they can but eventually you have to face it as nothing is perfect. Cisco Wireless Lan controller are feasible to use and easy to manage and other than this their issue reported are pretty low so you can get the best up time. now it also depends on scenario as well as environment.
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Performance
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Cisco
Cisco Wireless Lan controller are feasible to use and easy to manage and other than this their issue reported are pretty low so you get the better uptime. if your get the uptime then it means its a stable product in your environment. Product performance also depends on the product management and Cisco Wireless Lan controller management is easy so you can get the great output.
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Support Rating
Cisco
Cisco Meraki support has been very helpful when it comes to troubleshooting and supporting their products. There is an online knowledge base with tons of documentation and there is also 24x7 phone support available as part of the dashboard license. Every time I've called support, the engineer I spoke with has been very informative and dedicated to resolving my problems.
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Cisco
As usual, the support from Cisco's TAC (Technical Assistance Center) is lacking. Granted, they always get the job done, but the amount of lead time on a non-emergency is enough to make you just handle it yourself. The good news is that if you ask for Cisco's assistance and forget about it, they'll jump on by the time you've forgotten where you were in troubleshooting it and have it fixed for you.
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Implementation Rating
Cisco
There were documents that detailed how the WiFi Access Point was to be installed and mounted. The only issue was to cable the device, we use a third party for this type of work and typically has to be performed after normal business hours. Other than that, the installation was easy.
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Cisco
That was a great experience of having a new project and working on it. Although we got some hurdles and challenges but we overcome all the things and try to work efficiently for this. in this time Cisco support team also helps a lot an give pro tips which help us.
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Alternatives Considered
Cisco
I've found that Meraki Wireless Access Points are able to stack up against all of the other access point manufacturers I've used. I think they are more usable and easy to understand when compared to others like Fortinet, Aruba, or traditional Cisco wireless. I do think the features offered are enough for almost all companies looking for a good wifi plan. They have less detailed settings than Aruba and Cisco so if you have complicated deployments they might be missing some options you are after. Keeping it simple is how Meraki wins. They also have a much easier way to do a zero-touch deployment. You can add the access points in the dashboard and get them running very quickly. They can be managed from anywhere without a VPN or local connection which gives them an edge over their competition.
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Cisco
The Aironet access points are used for employee WiFi access, and they integrate well with Meraki. They would offer a separate guest network, too, but the decision was made to physically separate the guest network, so even if a bad actor would gain access to the ethernet port of the AP, they'd still not see any company traffic.
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Scalability
Cisco
It has nothing really to do with the product itself. I think it's more of the positioning of the Meraki dashboard, kind of edging the simplicity over the deep contextual configuration type things. Giving me a little bit more access to tweak certain things would definitely raise that rating.
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Cisco
Cisco is a brand name and people trust on it. if any one thing about the networking then Cisco is among those brand which is count as trusted brand and people rely on it. Also it support is good so people can use it. Cisco Wireless Lan controller are easy to use and manage so it requires less effort.
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Return on Investment
Cisco
  • KPI generator: Generator of commercial indicators that help us define the client's profile.
  • Consumption data: See in which the network is occupying the consumption by application and user.
  • Heat zones: See which is the area of ​​interest most traveled by the end user.
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Cisco
  • Positive impact 1. Our employees are able to move around anywhere in our 12-story building and have access to our corporate network. Employees are not tied down to an office and can easily move around to meetings and stay connected.
  • Because the equipment is so reliable, we do not have any unscheduled outages. Employees come in the building and connect without issues and have a sense that the wireless network "Just Simply Works."
  • When performing network maintenance, I usually have to block out several ours for our maintenance window. Upgrades sometimes do not go as smoothly as planned. This can be frustrating for the engineer.
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